PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the hottest teams in the league and in Madison Bumgarner’s first start since his ejection in Miami, he shook off some early rust to grab a 9-3 win over the Marlins on Tuesday at Chase Field.
Bumgarner (2-1, 1.78 ERA) and the D-backs fell behind early due to a two-run shot from Marlins’ Jorge Soler in the first inning. The D-backs pitcher threw 24 pitches and gave up four hits in the inning.
Luckily for Bumgarner, Arizona’s offense picked up the slack in the bottom of the frame due to a game-tying home run from Jordan Luplow.
“I actually felt really good early on in the game,” Bumgarner said postgame. “They put some pretty good swings on the ball early and I was able to adjust, keep moving the ball around and get better in a win.”
Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo (2-3, 4.03 ERA) struggled to throw the ball for strikes out of the gate, throwing a 40-pitch first inning that included 18 balls, 22 strikes, two walks and two hits surrendered. He finished the game with four earned runs on 78 pitches in just 2.2 innings pitched.
The D-backs offense exploded with two outs in the third inning. Nick Ahmed kicked it off with a single that plated Ketel Marte and moved Christian Walker to second, giving the Diamondbacks their first lead of the night. Geraldo Perdomo followed suit with another RBI single that doubled the lead.
Then entered the franchise’s No. 1 prospect Alek Thomas, who smoked a double to left field that scored Ahmed and gave the D-backs a three-run lead. Perdomo later came around to score, giving Arizona four second-inning runs.
This was Thomas’ first big league run batted in:
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 11, 2022
Bumgarner really settled in after the 24-pitch, four-hit first inning, finishing the day with 6.1 innings pitched, two earned runs, five strikeouts and one walk.
“He pitched into the seventh inning and got a big out,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I thought he had real good stuff, he just got clipped with a two-run home run. … He settled in after that and got moving in the right direction.”
The D-backs did not face many threatening opportunities after the first inning.
A collective group of Bumgarner, J.B. Wendelken and Keynan Middleton all shut the game down from innings two through eight, only allowing two hits in that time.
Arizona added some insurance runs in the eighth, extending their four-run lead to 9-2. Thomas hit his second-career RBI and came around to score in the inning.
Caleb Smith came in to close in the ninth and surrendered three hits while giving up one run.
Heading into Tuesday’s matchup, Zac Gallen (No. 2, 0.95 ERA), Kelly (No. 4, 1.22) and Bumgarner (No. 8, 1.50) gave the D-backs a league-best three of the top eight pitchers in ERA. No other team has two in the top 10.
Arizona has now opened the year 5-0 against the Marlins after sweeping them in Miami earlier this month.
With Tuesday’s win, Lovullo became the winningest manager in D-backs history with 354 wins. Kirk Gibson held the record previously.
“It’s awesome and a great feeling,” Lovullo said. “I’m honored and humbled but the win total is not just about me, it’s about an entire organization.”
Merrill Kelly (3-1, 1.22 ERA) will take the mound for the D-backs in the final game of the series against Miami.
In his last start, Kelly went 8.2 innings with one run and eight strikeouts.
The D-backs go for the back-to-back sweeps over Miami on Wednesday at 12:40 p.m on ESPN 620 AM or 98.7 FM HD-2.